Poppy Seed Apricot Squares

I got the inspiration for these bar cookies from a visit to a Romanian bakery in New York City, where I tried a pastry filled with a thick layer of poppy seeds. Popular in Eastern European cooking, poppy seeds can be sprinkled on bread rolls, mixed with noodles, or combined with milk, sugar, and other ingredients to…

Baked Empanadas with Roasted Peppers and Monterey Jack Cheese

This is my twist on empanadas, a classic Spanish and Latin American pastry typically filled with meat, fish, cheese, or corn. Empanadas can be baked or fried, but I prefer the former (it’s more convenient, and the empanadas taste lighter.)  I adapted a dough recipe from A Cozy Kitchen, swapping butter for olive oil to yield a…

Peanut Butter Granola Cookies

You don’t have to be a huge fan of peanut butter to enjoy these cookies, which are light, airy, and have a subtle peanut flavor. To enhance the texture, I used a high-quality, crunchy peanut butter, and threw in some homemade pecan and dried cherry granola. My granola (see recipe in the note below) is…

Mint and Sesame Focaccia

During a recent after school cooking class, I taught a group of middle schoolers how to make focaccia, a classic Italian flatbread coated in olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt or herbs. One student decided to top the dough with a unique combination of seasonings: toasted sesame seeds, dried mint, sea salt, poppy seeds,…

Tiramisu Cookies

Flavored with coffee powder, mascarpone cheese, and a dusting of cocoa powder, these bite-sized cookies taste just like tiramisu, a classic Italian dessert made with layers of mascarpone filling and espresso-soaked biscuits. The idea for this recipe came to me when I wanted to send a friend some tiramisu, her favorite dessert, but figured cookies…

Greek Yogurt Chocolate Mousse Tarts

These mini tarts feature a chocolate shortbread crust and a lighter, healthier twist on chocolate mousse made with Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream. I got the inspiration from a simple, delicious Greek yogurt mousse recipe on the blog Food52 and tweaked it to include rose water and raspberry jam, which complement the tanginess of…

Chive and Potato Momos

Momos are Tibetan dumplings popular in North India, Nepal, and other areas with large Tibetan communities. They can be filled with vegetables or meat, pan-fried or steamed, and are sometimes covered in a spicy tomato chutney. The other day, I tried an excellent steamed momo filled with chives at Little Tibet, a restaurant in New York,…

Rosemary and Almond Biscotti

After reading about a pine nut and rosemary tart in The Craft of Baking, a cookbook by pastry chef Karen DeMasco, I thought about incorporating rosemary into a new recipe for biscotti, twice-baked cookies with origins in Italy. Almonds, a classic biscotti ingredient, and rosemary, an herb often used in Italian cooking, can be roasted together…

Roasted Pear and Gouda Scones

I’ve been experimenting recently with recipes for yogurt and olive oil scones, including one with leeks, feta, and fennel. These scones feature another delicious flavor and texture combination: roasted pear, Gouda cheese, walnuts, red onions, and fresh thyme. Read about it in my latest column for The Knockturnal.

Leek, Feta, and Fennel Scones

These are lighter, airier, and healthier-tasting than traditional scones, with olive oil instead of butter and Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream. I got the inspiration from an herb, garlic, and olive oil scone recipe in The Clueless Baker by Evelyn Raab and began experimenting with different flavor combinations incorporating oil and yogurt. The flavor of leeks,…

Lavash with Sesame, Thyme, Oregano, and Sea Salt

This is my twist on a traditional West Asian flatbread, adapted from a recipe by The Spruce.  I used instant yeast and let the dough rise overnight in the fridge; the longer dough ferments, the more flavorful it becomes. I brushed the surface with egg white and topped it with a mixture of dried and…

Pear Almond Muffins

These muffins combine the flavors of marzipan and poached pears.  I cooked Bartlett pears with cinnamon, ginger, vanilla, and cloves, flavored the batter with almond extract, and added buttermilk for moisture and a hint of tanginess. Almond slices sprinkled on top give the muffins a nice crunch. There’s a lot going on, but the flavors…